Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Geno's Crappy Sandwiches Aren't Their Only Problem

When we did our Philly Cheesesteak Tour a couple summers ago, we started off at the Center of the Cheesesteak Universe better known as South 9th Street, home to both Pat's and Geno's.

Unfortunately, both establishments are cruising on their reputations offering sub-par sandwiches to tourists and meatheads. These days, though, Geno's is in the news more for their inane business practices than their cuisine.

Seems that Geno's owner Joey Vento recently posted a sign saying, "This is America -- when ordering, speak English." As a frequent visitor to South Philly this seems to be the very definition of irony since Italian often seemed to be a more dominant language than English, not to mention the area's booming tourist industry which surely funds a good portion of Geno's business.

A civil rights watchdog group has opened an investigation into whether or not the restaurant's signage violates the city's Fair Practices Ordinance.


Texas Truth said...

Yes, there is a problem with Geno's, immigration and racism. The problem is that his business is HIS business and he can do wherever he likes. If some immigrant can't order his/her lunch in the way that is prescribed, I guess he/she doesn’t eat at Geno's. I know there are other places in Philadelphia to eat. Some of the bleeding heart liberals just don't get it. Kudos to Geno’s. He has a great deal of support out here. I have a post at my blog about this and other issues

Please feel free to stop by and reads my perspective on this and other issues.


Mega Munch said...

There has to be a single argument that puts this whole "This is America, speak English" B.S. to rest. (The old "most of our ancestors came to America not knowing English" doesn't seem to work.) It's ridiculous.

Here's what I'm going to do. (hungover gourmet, you have inspired me!) I'm going to Geno's this summer and I'm going to order a "cheesesteak wit" in spanish and see what happens. If he kicks me out of line, I'll get back in line and order the same thing in German...then Italian...then French. On and on we'll go while my friend gets the whole thing on video. It might be funny, it might be sad, but it's definitely going on my blog.

Dan said...

If you're lucky you'll never get one of the cheesesteaks and you can drive to Dallesandro's or Steve's. I love the idea though!

I don't care what the guy does since I don't care about eating there and if I did it wouldn't affect me but to me it just smacks of bad business sense, hypocrisy, and racism. As another commentator said, it is HIS business but I can't comprehend a desire to turn away business based on some jingoistic notion that everybody in the country should speak English. Isn't this the same type of pig-headed behavior we dislike the French for?